by Richard A. Steeves
This book has been incubating in my mind since
1958, when I spent a summer surveying aquatic insects and fish for
the government of Ontario. During that summer the stoneflies, mayflies
and caddisflies of Southern Ontario streams caught my imagination
so much that I wondered about how the world might look through their
eyes. They were such interesting-looking creatures that I began
to create different personalities to fit each intriguing set of
features. Later I started to imagine that these characters were
speaking to one another, amplifying their personalities as they
struggled to deal with life's challenges.
I was far too busy as a medical student to write their story
that autumn. The following summer I learned
to fly in a seaplane while working near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Again, I thought of my insect "friends" as they matured
into adults and began to fly. Could they feel any of the wild
joy that I felt, gliding over marshes and along river banks?
humans be so sure that insect behavior was driven only by instinct?
Did humans suffer from smug, self-assured myopia in thinking
they were the only species capable of rational thought?
My friends incubated in my mind for another 36
years, finally coming to life on these pages. Although their story
is technically science fiction, it is not futuristic, and I have
taken few liberties with their true natural history. Their story
will interest anyone who is willing to look at the world from a
different perspective, and especially someone who likes to swim
Richard A. Steeves, M.D., Ph.D.
I thank my wife, Elyane, for her encouragement
and suggestions during the preparation of this manuscript. I also
thank Karla Ritter and Deborah Stonehocker for providing helpful
information on the natural history of aquatic insects. The cover
photograph and design were kindly provided by Kate Miller.
on to read Arnold’s Adventures